259 posts categorized in "Wildlife"

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Back to the Barn for Two Baby Barn Owls



It seemed to be raining owls recently at a horse barn in Redmond, WA. Two downy, white Barn Owl babies had plopped down on the barn's sandy floor, and it wasn't immediately clear whether or not their parents were still in the area. The babies were brought to PAWS for an examination. They were found to be dehydrated and a little bit skinny, but otherwise healthy. After fluids and a meal, they even got a little bit feisty with their caretakers.


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Quick turn-around for a Pied-billed Grebe



When it happens, we call it a roadstrike. It's a very serious situation that happens to water birds, usually loons or grebes, who cannot take flight without first running on top of the water to gain speed. Roadstrikes occur when these birds mistake the wet surface of a road or parking lot for the shimmering surface of a body of water. They come in for a landing, often injuring themselves during the unexpectedly-hard touchdown, and then they're stranded. Without human intervention, they usually don't have long before they move from the category of roadstrike to roadkill. Thankfully, that was not to be the fate of a Pied-billed Grebe who crashed down near the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.


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Cats & Dogs, Wildlife Comments (0)

It's a Very Special Baby Shower



It's a PAWS Baby Shower!We're hosting a very special Baby Shower here at PAWS, but it doesn't involve blue and pink cupcakes or guessing baby names. It's a "Baby Shower" drive to help us prepare for the flood of kittens, puppies and baby wildlife who will come to PAWS for care this spring and summer.

Two-thirds of the animals PAWS cares for every year are babies and juveniles. You can help these kittens, puppies and baby wildlife by making a quick and easy donation from our Amazon wish list!

Your generous gift will help us care for these young, orphaned animals in many ways. Whether it's a gift of specially-formulated kitten food, toys for the puppies, heating pads for the very small animals, or jars of baby food and corn meal for young wildlife, your donation will help us save lives.

Make a gift to the PAWS Baby Shower!


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Baby Birds Abound at the PAWS Wildlife Center



It's that time of year. Birds that went largely unnoticed throughout the fall and winter are suddenly highly visible (and audible). They're busy collecting food and stuffing it into seemingly insatiable gaping beaks. They take a break every now and then to dive-bomb anything that comes too close to the nest, but once the intruder is dealt with they go right back to their primary focus of food, food and more food for their ever-growing young. We know they're out there, because when they run into trouble they come to PAWS. And even in a setting as foreign to them as a wildlife center, those hungry mouths just keep right on gaping.

American Robin nestling

Fortunately, we have a dedicated group of volunteers and interns who keep these hungry mouths fed. Known as Bird Nursery Caretakers, these volunteers raise our orphaned songbirds until they're ready to fend for themselves. The volunteers feed, clean and encourage the birds to begin to eat on their own. The patients are very small, but the job is very big.

  Dark eyed Junco nestlings

Meanwhile, our dedicated wildlife admission specialists are answering calls from the public and helping to determine whether or not young birds are actually in need of help. Fledgling birds learning to fly are everywhere at this time of year, and they often appear to be sick or injured when they're not.

American Robin Fledgling

Some fledgling birds look very much like adults. They're often distinguishable only by their behavior, and by fleshy pink, red or yellow gape flanges at the corner of their mouth. Look closely on the fledgling Pine Siskin below and you can see his pinkish-red gape flange.

Pine Siskin fledgling

If you find a baby bird that you believe may need help, you can always contact PAWS at 425.412.4040. We also have a handy flow chart online, titled "I found a baby bird! What should I do?", that will help walk you through the process of assessing a baby bird.

We are also currently looking for motivated, detail-oriented volunteers to join the ranks of our Bird Nursery Caretakers. A job description and applications are available online. If you would like to help raise some of the dozens of orphaned birds that PAWS receives each spring and summer, we would love to hear from you!

If you don't have the time but would like to help feed the birds another way, you can donate an item from our "Baby Shower" wish list on Amazon.com! Jars of baby food and bags of wheat bran or corn meal are especially helpful.

Become a Bird Nursery volunteer today!


Cats & Dogs, Events, Wildlife Comments (1)

Give the gift of love this Mother's Day



This Mother’s Day, give that special woman in your life a gift that gives back. Give her the gift of love when you make a donation in her name to PAWS!

Mother's Day Gift

Honor your mother, grandmother, wife, sister or friend and help thousands of injured, orphaned or abandoned animals get the lifesaving care they need. Make your gift by Wednesday May 8 to ensure delivery of your special Mother’s Day card.

Your gift to PAWS in honor of Mom will help animals like Tiger Lily, a formerly homeless cat who was discovered living in an abandoned alleyway with no food or shelter.

Tiger Lily and her three small kittens were brought to PAWS where they received everything they needed to grow healthy and strong.

Your Mother’s Day donation will give animals like Tiger Lily and her sweet kittens the second chance they deserve and help feed, shelter and care for them while they’re at PAWS.

Send your Mother's Day gift today!


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The Hummingbirds Have Hatched in the Latest Campus Update



A mother Anna's Hummingbird raises her brood and some colorful migrants pay us a visit in the latest Campus Update. Click below to download the PDF version.


Download Campus Update 050513

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New Kits on the Block



Just as we were releasing our last three Raccoon kits from the 2012 baby season, the new 2013 models were arriving. As I write this, our Raccoon nursery is filled with the sounds of chattering, churring, and occasionally squealing, babies.


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Opossums in the road may not be alone


An old joke poses the question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" One of many possible answers to this question is, "To show the opossum that it could be done." Unfortunately, opossums find themselves the butt of this joke because they really are prone to getting hit by cars. This susceptibility to being run over is a direct result of the opossum's primary defense. Freezing, baring your teeth, or rolling over and playing dead might work if you are under attack from a predator, but it is less than effective against an oncoming automobile.

At this time of year, the opossum you see laying in the road may not be the only victim. Virginia Opossum breeding season is in full swing, so many females are currently transporting up to 13 babies in their pouch. The opossum's pouch is located on her abomen. At birth, the opossum's bean-sized babies climb inside the pouch and attach themselves to a nipple. They spend about 60 days nursing and growing in the pouch before emerging to cling to their mother's back for an additional 30-40 days. In the photo below, you can see a number of babies partially enclosed by their mothers pouch as she nurses them.


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After a Long Winter, Three Raccoons Go Free



The PAWS Wildlife Center raises dozens of orphaned Raccoon kits every summer. Most of these babies have lost their mothers to cars or other human-related causes, and most are ready for release by late summer or early fall. Every year, however, we receive a few late summer babies who are not ready for release before cold winter weather sets in. These kits spend the winter with us, growing and playing with one another, while awaiting their release in the spring.

For three Raccoon kits who were with us this winter, their long-awaited day of freedom came on April 25. As evening fell, the Raccoons' transport carriers were opened next to a creek in a beautiful King County Natural Area. The following photos will give you a glimpse of their initial exploration as they made their transition back to the wild.

Release day is exciting, but it's also a bit overwhelming for the young Raccoons. They often spend time assessing their surroundings from inside or on top of their transport carriers.


Continue reading "After a Long Winter, Three Raccoons Go Free" »

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Mallard Families on the March


There was a time when a Mallard duck could lay her eggs pretty much anywhere without concern that there might be impassable obstacles between her future hatchlings and the nearest body of water. But human changes to the landscape, including buildings, fences, roads and the draining of countless acres of wetlands, have put an end to those relatively carefree nesting days. Unfortunately, the ducks have yet to realize it.

As I write this I know that there are mallards all over the Greater Seattle Area that are sitting on eggs in planters, hedgerows and at the edges of lawns. Others are already marching newly hatched ducklings toward the nearest water source. I know this both from past experience, and from the fact that we have already received many young mallards this year that have gone astray during their first overland journey.


Continue reading "Mallard Families on the March" »

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